On November 30, 2016 we celebrate Bonifacio Day in commemoration of the birth of one of our greatest national heroes and the Father of the Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio. Bonifacio was one of the founders and the “Supremo” of the Katipunan, which led the Filipinos in a revolution against Spanish rule.
In honor of our forefather’s holiday, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will be screening a special selection of films at the FDCP Cinematheques. These contemporary works will be harking to Bonifacio’s powerful brand of heroism and inspiring the fighting resolve within us all, with special guests from the films giving us even more reason to revisit our history.
The 29th of November, Tuesday, will be seeing a couple of spirited films that ask just what made Bonifacio the hero that he is? Will Fredo’s Filemon Mamon is the adaptation of the popular children’s book and musical play about a high school hero wanting to win the lead role in the play about Andres Bonifacio, and at the same time win the heart of his crush. His chubbiness and detractors stand against him, but in the process of taking the mantle of his favorite national hero, he learns how to love himself. A family comedy to warm the heart, Filemon Mamon stars young actor Jerome Ignacio in his first feature role, with a bevy of veteran actors and comedians such as Smokey Manaloto, Nanette Inventor, Giselle Sanchez, Rayver Cruz, and Miles Ocampo.
Screening that same eve of Bonifacio day is the historical drama by Enzo Williams, Bonifacio, Ang Unang Pangulo. A portrait of a man just trying to dedicate his life for his country, the film takes the vantage point of young students learning about Bonifacio’s life—from his beginnings as a youth witnessing the extent of Spanish cruelty to his rise and fall as the Supremo of the Katipunan. The riveting action-drama epic stars Robin Padilla as the eponymous hero, as well as Vina Morales, Dennis Padilla, Jasmine Curtis Smith and Jericho Rosales.
A special gift will be presented on the 30th, Bonifacio Day, with the showing of the great Lav Diaz’s Berlinale Alfred Bauer Prize-winning Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis. Blending historical facts, existing fiction, and folklore into his own imaginative retelling of the past, Diaz takes us into the events following the imprisonment of Bonifacio by his own fellow Katipuneros, with his wife Gregoria de Jesus searching for his husband and other subversives making their escape after a failed plan for the revolution.
Sure to instill in audiences a patriotism they may never have recognized before, the screenings of Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis will also be blessed by a Q&A session from the award-winning cast and crew from the film. Cinematheque Baguio will play host to distinguished character actor Ronnie Lazaro, Cinematheque Davao to awarded veteran actor Bernardo Bernardo, and Cinematheque Iloilo to established stage and screen actress Sheenly Vee Gener. Cinematheque Manila will be visited by the film’s many stars—Joel Saracho, Susan Africa, Alessandra de Rossi, Hazel Orencio, and Angel Aquino—as well as Diaz’s filmmaking team, all making for a truly momentous Bonifacio Day.
The Bonifacio Day special screenings will be on the 29th and 30th of November, at Cinematheques Baguio, Davao, Iloilo, and Manila. Filemon Mamon and Bonifacio, Ang Unang Pangulo have a P50 ticket admission for the regional Cinematheques and P100 for Cinematheque Manila, while Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis will have a P200 ticket admission for all Cinematheques, with tickets released on a first-come, first-serve basis. Details and schedule can be found on the FDCP website, fdcp.ph, and Facebook account on @FDCP.ph, as well as the respective Cinematheque social media accounts. (PR)